12 Feb DRM at HFCC Global Shortwave Conference
Earlier this month, representatives from leading international broadcasters attended the 11th Global Shortwave Coordination Conference in Muscat, Oman. The conference brought together the world’s primary shortwave coordination groups – the HFCC (High Frequency Coordination Committee) ABU (Asian Broadcasting Union) and ASBU (Arab States Broadcasting Union).
The conference facilitates the scheduling of analogue and digital (DRM) transmissions in the shortwave frequency bands, aiming to reduce frequency clashes and eliminate possible sources of interference, improving both audibility of transmissions and the listener experience.
DRM Steering Board member Babcock International attended the conference, as usual, as well as frequency management representatives for a number of international broadcasters. Alan Hutchinson, Senior Frequency Manager at Babcock said: ‘The conference went extremely well with all participants being made to feel very welcome by the hospitality of our Omani hosts. We successfully solved the majority of interference issues during the week, helping to ensure interference free transmissions for our customers. We hope that all broadcasters around the world carrying out DRM transmissions will attend future conferences to coordinate their DRM broadcasts and ensure interference free programmes for their listeners.”
Ampegon (key DRM Consortium member) also presented a DRM update, at the request of the Omani hosts, providing participants with a general market update on key countries/regions and the latest information on codec and chipset developments, new receivers and the benefits of DRM membership for broadcasters.
There was a demonstration of the updated interactive map on the HFCC website with the new ‘DRM only’ search feature. The importance of broadcasters submitting accurate and up to date information, for the benefit of their listeners, was stressed to the conference participants.
And finally – the long-standing HFCC chair Oldrich Cip stood down at this meeting, although he will continue as a vice chair. Oldrich is a champion of international broadcasting, and there would be no HFCC without him. He was imprisoned after the crackdown on Radio Prague during the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, and after the Cold War proposed an organisation to enable broadcasters from the East and West to co-operate on coordination On behalf of the DRM Consortium, we thank him for his huge contribution and wish him well in the future!
The next HFCC will take place in Brisbane, Australia, 24-28 August 2015.